GEOG 571
Cultural Intelligence, Applied Geography, and Homeland Security

GEOG 571 Syllabus (Fall 2017)

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This syllabus is divided into several sections. You can read it sequentially by scrolling down the length of the document or by clicking on any of the links below to “jump” to a specific section. That said, it is essential that you read the entire document as well as material covered in the Orientation. Together these serve the role of our course "contract."


Course Overview

GEOG 571 is an elective course in the Geospatial Intelligence Certificate, the Intercollege Master of Professional Studies (iMPS-HLS), and the Master of Geographic Information Systems degree program that is offered exclusively through Penn State's World Campus. It is also one of the optional capstone courses that leads to Penn State's Postbaccalaureate Certificate in GIS. The course consists of projects, associated readings, and exams.

Geography 571 was first offered in January 2011. We would appreciate your feedback about the content and design.

As participants in a graduate-level course, students enrolled in Geography 571 should expect the grading of assignments to be based upon the following:

  1. demonstrated mastery of the subject matter;
  2. clarity of thought;
  3. reliance on factual information in defense of, or against, a given point of view;
  4. logic; and
  5. effective integration of course materials into discussions, critiques, and answers to questions.

What will be expected of you?

Like any upper-level course, you will be challenged to move beyond the knowledge and skills that you bring to the class. You can expect to be busy; a rough estimate is that you should allow 12-15 hours per week for class assignments. Included in the 12-15 hours each week is time to complete projects and related activities. You'll be glad to know that you don't need to show up for class at a certain time! All you need to do is complete assignments before the published deadline at the end of each week.

My colleagues and I have worked hard to make this the most effective and convenient educational experience possible. How much and how well you learn is ultimately up to you. You will succeed if you are diligent about keeping up with the class schedule and if you take advantage of opportunities to communicate with me, as well as with your fellow students.


Course Objectives

GEOG 571: The successful student will be able to demonstrate comprehension of the following course materials by logically applying the information learned to the analyses of civil security problems and by offering lucid presentations and solutions based on clearly reasoned syntheses:

  1. Cultural geography, civil security, and globalization
  2. The environmental mandate (resources, climate, etc.) and civil security
  3. Culture, cultural wars, and civil security
  4. American culture, educational challenges, changing demographics, and economic realities
  5. Civil security and the cultural geography of the U.S./Mexico Border Region
  6. Cultural/spatial manifestations of international terrorism
  7. Spatial characteristics of organized crime, drugs, and the stability of the world order
  8. Future challenges relative to civil security


Course Expectations

Successful participants will:

  1. be prepared to offer critical appraisals of all assigned reading materials;
  2. complete and turn in all assignments on time;
  3. actively and respectfully participate in discussions (online or in some other formats);
  4. successfully complete a research paper on an approved topic;
  5. successfully complete a final (open-book) examination that will consist of essay questions provided at the end of the ninth week of the semester; and
  6. submit written work (other than the final examination) that is properly documented in accordance with the college citation guide posted at the Purdue Online Writing Lab.


Required Course Materials

Please read these materials carefully, but not for memory. They have been selected to expose you to a broad spectrum of works on topics that relate to geography, intelligence, and civil security. Memorizing them would not be a good investment of your time. You will be able to use them when you work on assignments and during the final examination (which is actually more of an exercise than an exam because it is open book).

Books

Kaplan, Robert, The Revenge of Geography, Random House, New York (2013).

Hartman, Andrew, A War for the Soul of America: A History of the Culture Wars, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago (2015)

Kilcullen, David, The Accidental Guerrilla: Fighting Small Wars in the Midst of a Big One, Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York (2009)

Articles

Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds, National Intelligence Council, (2012).

Van Otten, George, Culture Matters, Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin, (January-March, 2005).  If you cannot access the article via the link — use your browser to search for "Culture Matters"  MIPB 2005 with your prefered search engine. The results should bring up a PDF file in the Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin. The article begins on page 30.

Van Otten, Why Geography Should Matter Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin, (2012). You will find this article in the lesson one text.

What America Will Look Like in 2050, Washington Post, (2015).

Using the Library

Just like on-campus students, as a Penn State student you have a wealth of library resources available to you!

As a registered user of Penn State Libraries, you can...

  • search for journal articles (many are even immediately available in full-text);
  • request articles that aren't available in full-text and have them delivered electronically;
  • borrow books and other materials and have them delivered to your doorstep;
  • access materials that your instructor has put on Electronic Reserve;
  • talk to reference librarians in real time using chat, phone, and e-mail;
  • ...and much more!

To register with the Libraries, and to learn more about their services, see  https://libraries.psu.edu/about/departments/access-services.


Assignments and Grading

Students earn grades that reflect the extent to which they achieve the learning objectives listed above. Opportunities to demonstrate learning include the following, and grades will be based on percentages assigned to each of several components of the course as follows:

  • Class Participation: (25 points)

    Participation is evaluated based on participation in online discussion forums and e-mail interactions.
     
  • Written Assignments:  (50 points)

    The research papers should be double-spaced and documented in keeping with the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences citation guideline, and should not exceed fifteen pages in length. By the end of the second week, each student will submit to me the topic about which she or he will write. Papers are due at the end of the ninth week of the semester.

    • Writings: (30 points)

      It is important to remember that this is a graduate-level class. Therefore, those enrolled in the class will be graded on clarity of presentation, logic, reliance on accurate information and facts, integration of reading materials (including online lectures) into written presentations and discussions, and attention to detail. Please remember that your grades will not be based upon the position you take relative to given issues, but instead will rest upon the accuracy and effectiveness of your written presentations. Simply arguing that you "feel" a certain way about something is not a reasonable defense of your position.
      • Five Discussion Forums each worth 4 points (20 points).
      • One Discussion Forum (Lesson 05) worth 10 points.

       
    • Research Paper: (20 points)

      The successful completion of a well-written and well-documented research paper is required in order to pass this course. Students may choose to write on any of the following topics:
      • The Geo-Spatial Implications of Illegal Immigration in the United States
      • Spatial Manifestations of Water Resources and Civil Security
      • The Spatial Manifestations and Implications Relative to Current Demographic Shifts and Trends
      • Geopolitical Manifestations of Cultural Fault Lines on the World Order
      • The Impacts of Race and Ethnicity on Twenty-first Century American Culture
      • World Geopolitical Influences of Radical Islam on the World Order
      • Changing Gender Roles and the Evolution of American Culture 
      • Geopolitics and Environmental Mandates
      • The Geopolitical Implications of Building a Wall Between the USA and Mexico
      • Geopolitical Manifestations of Rogue States (North Korea and Iran)
      • The Impacts of Globalization on the Quick and the Slow
      • The Geospatial Implications of Modern Technologies Relative to Civil Security
      • Geospatial Characteristics and Implications of Cultural Conflicts and Tensions in the United States
      • Global Geospatial Characteristics and Implications of Cultural Conflicts and Tension
         
    • PLEASE GO TO http//www:guides.libraries.psu.edu/apaquickguide
  • Final Examination: (25 points)

    Multiple choice and short essay due during the last week of class.

Letter grades will be based on the following percentages:

Letter Grade and Corresponding Points
Letter Grade Points
A 90 - 100 points
A- 87.5-89.9 points
B+ 85-87.4 points
B 80-84.9 points
B- 77.5-79.9 points
C+ 75-77.4 points
C 70-74.9 points
D 60-69.9 points
F <60 points
X Unsatisfactory (student did not participate)

Percentages refer to the proportion of all possible points earned by the student.


GEOG 571 Course Schedule

image Printable Schedule

Course length: 10 weeks
Below, you will find a brief summary of the lesson tasks for this course and the associated time frames. Assignment information will be located on each lesson's checklist - so you will need to check there for the full set of details and deliverables. Sometimes, the details for each lesson can change, and it's possible that the syllabus may not be updated as quickly as the lesson checklists, so always check specific lesson checklists for the latest details. This course is 10 weeks in length, with an orientation week preceding the official start of the course.

Please check the course calendar in Canvas for specific due dates.

Orientation
Date: Week 0
Tasks:
  • Complete the steps outlined in our site orientation to familiarize yourself with the course organization and features.
  • Click on the Orientation link to begin the orientation.
  • I strongly encourage you to read the materials in lesson 0.  This lesson is not graded, but if you do not already have a strong background in geography, reading the materials in lesson 0, will make it easier for you to understand the materials covered in subsequent lessons. 
Possible Points: 0

Lesson 1: Introduction
Date: Week 1
Tasks:
  • Read the online lecture notes.
  • Begin reading Kaplan, The Revenge of Geography. 
  • After you have compled reading all the mateirals assigned for lesson one; take the lesson one quiz.
  • Lesson 1 Quiz does not count toward your final grade, but you must score 100% on the quiz to reveal the Lesson 2 module and you will not be able to submit your discussion forum post if you have not completed the Lesson 1 Quiz.
  • Lesson 01 Discussion Forum (4 points).
  • NOTE: If you do not have a strong background in geography/cultural geography, please read the introductory materials listed under the Lesson 0: A Geography Primer portion of the menu.
Possible Points: 4

Lesson 2: The Environmental Mandate
Date: Week 2
Tasks:
  • Read the online lecture notes.
  • Continue reading Kaplan, The Revenge of Geography.
  • Lesson 2 Quiz does not count toward your final grade, but you must score 100% on the quiz to reveal the Lesson 3 module and you will not be able to submit your discussion forum post if you have not completed the Lesson 2 Quiz.
  • Lesson 02 Discussion Forum (4 points).
  • Submit your Research Paper Topic in the Research Paper Idea Dropbox.
Possible Points: 4

Lesson 3: Cultures in Conflict
Date: Weeks 3-4
Tasks:
  • Read the online lecture notes.
  • Read Van Otten, "Culture Matters."
  • Read Andrew Hartman: A History of Culture Wars (pp.1-172)
  • Lesson 3 Quiz does not count toward your final grade, but you must score 100% on the quiz to reveal the Lesson 4 module and you will not be able to submit your discussion forum post if you have not completed the Lesson 3 Quiz.
  • Lesson 03 Discussion Forum (4 points).
Possible Points: 4

Lesson 4: American Cultures
Date: Week 5
Tasks:
  • Read the online lecture notes.
  • Read last half of  Andrew Hartman: A History of the Culture Wars pp. 172-296.
  • Lesson 4 Quiz does not count toward your final grade, but you must score 100% on the quiz to reveal the Lesson 5 module and you will not be able to submit your discussion forum post if you have not completed the Lesson 4 Quiz.
  • Lesson 04 Discussion Forum (4 points).
Possible Points: 4

Lesson 5:
Civil Security and the U.S./Mexico Border Region
Date: Weeks 6-7
Tasks:
  • Read the online lecture notes.
  • Read Van Otten, "Illegal Immigration and Smuggling on the Tohono O’odham Reservation of Arizona: Opportunities for Applied Intelligence Training."
  • Lesson 5 Quiz does not count toward your final grade, but you must score 100% on the quiz to reveal the Lesson 6 module and you will not be able to submit your discussion forum post if you have not completed the Lesson 5 Quiz.
  • Lesson 05 Discussion Forum (10 points).
Possible Points: 10

Lesson 6:
International Terrorism
Date: Week 8
Tasks:
  • Read the online lecture notes.
  • Read Kilcullen, David, The Accidental Guerrilla.
  • Lesson 6 Quiz does not count toward your final grade, but you must score 100% on the quiz to reveal the Lesson 7 module and you will not be able to submit your discussion forum post if you have not completed the Lesson 6 Quiz.
  • Lesson 06 Discussion Forum (4 points).
Possible Points: 4

Lesson 7:
Organized Crime and Civil Security
Date: Week 9
Tasks:
  • Read the online lecture notes.
  • Submit  your research paper: see course calendar.
  • Please use the Lesson 07 drop box in Canvas to submit paper.
Possible Points: Term paper is worth 20

Lesson 8: Conclusions and Final Exam
Date: Week 10
Tasks:
  • Read the online lecture notes.
  • Submit your open-book final exam paper no later than 1800 PST on the Monday following release of the exam to you.
Possible Points: 25


Course Policies

Citation and Reference Style

Use the resources found at  www.guides.libraries.psu.edu/apaquickguide to guide you in citing references.

Technical Requirements

For this course, we recommend the minimum technical requirements outlined on our "Program Technical Requirements" page. If you need technical assistance at any point during the course, please contact the Outreach Helpdesk (for World Campus students) or the IT Service Desk (for students at all other campus locations).

Internet Connection

Access to a reliable broadband Internet connection is required for this course. A problem with your Internet access may not be used as an excuse for late, missing, or incomplete coursework. If you experience problems with your Internet connection while working on this course, it is your responsibility to find an alternative Internet access point, such as a public library or wireless hotspot.

Mixed Content

This site is considered a secure website, which means that your connection is encrypted. We do, however, link to content that isn't necessarily encrypted. This is called mixed content. By default, mixed content is blocked in Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome. This may result in a blank page or a message saying that only secure content is displayed. Follow the directions on our technical requirements page to view the mixed content.

Equations

This course must be viewed using one of the following browsers: Firefox (any version), Safari (versions 5.1 or 6.0), Chrome (0.3 or later), or Internet Explorer with the MathPlayer PlugIn. If you use any other browser, there will be pages containing equations that do not render properly. If you need technical assistance at any point during the course, please contact the Outreach Helpdesk (for World Campus students) or the IT Service Desk (for students at all other campus locations).

Penn State E-mail Accounts

All official communications from the Penn State World Campus are sent to students' Penn State e-mail accounts. Be sure to check your Penn State account regularly, or forward your Penn State e-mail to your preferred e-mail account, so you don't miss any important information.

Academic Integrity

This course follows the guidelines for academic integrity of Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences. Penn State defines academic integrity as "the pursuit of scholarly activity in an open, honest and responsible manner." Academic integrity includes "a commitment not to engage in or tolerate acts of falsification, misrepresentation, or deception." In particular, the University defines plagiarism as "the fabrication of information and citations; submitting others' work from professional journals, books, articles, and papers; submission of other students' papers, lab results or project reports and representing the work as one's own." Penalties for violations of academic integrity may include course failure. To learn more, see Penn State's "Plagiarism Tutorial for Students."

Course Copyright

All course materials students receive or to which students have online access are protected by copyright laws. Students may use course materials and make copies for their own use as needed, but unauthorized distribution and/or uploading of materials without the instructor’s express permission is strictly prohibited. University Policy AD 40, the University Policy Recording of Classroom Activities and Note Taking Services addresses this issue. Students who engage in the unauthorized distribution of copyrighted materials may be held in violation of the University’s Code of Conduct, and/or liable under Federal and State laws.

For example, uploading completed labs, homework, or other assignments to any study site constitutes a violation of this policy.

Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. Every Penn State campus has an office for students with disabilities. The Student Disability Resources (SDR) website provides contact information for every Penn State campus: Contacts for Disability Resources at all Penn State Campuses. For further information, please visit the Student Disability Resources (SDR) website.

In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled. You will participate in an intake interview and provide documentation, see Applying for Services from Student Disability Resources. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus’s disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. You must follow this process for every semester that you request accommodations.

Counseling and Psychological Services

Many students at Penn State face personal challenges or have psychological needs that may interfere with their academic progress, social development, or emotional wellbeing.  The university offers a variety of confidential services to help you through difficult times, including individual and group counseling, crisis intervention, consultations, online chats, and mental health screenings.  These services are provided by staff who welcome all students and embrace a philosophy respectful of clients’ cultural and religious backgrounds, and sensitive to differences in race, ability, gender identity and sexual orientation. Services include the following:

Counseling and Psychological Services at University Park  (CAPS): 814-863-0395
Counseling and Psychological Services at Commonwealth Campuses
Penn State Crisis Line (24 hours/7 days/week): 877-229-6400
Crisis Text Line (24 hours/7 days/week): Text LIONS to 741741

Reporting Bias-Motivated Incidents

Penn State takes great pride to foster a diverse and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff. Acts of intolerance, discrimination, or harassment due to age, ancestry, color, disability, gender, gender identity, national origin, race, religious belief, sexual orientation, or veteran status are not tolerated (Policy AD29 Statement on Intolerance) and can be reported through Educational Equity via Report Bias.

Military Personnel

Veterans and currently serving military personnel and/or spouses with unique circumstances (e.g., upcoming deployments, drill/duty requirements, disabilities, VA appointments, etc.) are welcome and encouraged to communicate these, in advance if possible, to the instructor in the case that special arrangements need to be made.

Inclement Weather

In case of weather-related delays at the University, this online course will proceed as planned. Your instructor will inform you if there are any extenuating circumstances regarding content or activity due dates in the course due to weather delays. If you are affected by a weather-related emergency, please contact your instructor at the earliest possible time to make special arrangements.

Connect Online with Caution

Penn State is committed to educational access for all. Our students come from all walks of life and have diverse life experiences. As with any other online community, the lack of physical interaction in an online classroom can create a false sense of anonymity and security. While one can make new friends online, digital relationships can also be misleading. Good judgment and decision making are critical when choosing to disclose personal information with others whom you do not know.

Deferred Grades

If you are prevented from completing this course within the prescribed amount of time, it is possible to have the grade deferred with the concurrence of the instructor. To seek a deferred grade, you must submit a written request (by e-mail or U.S. post) to your instructor describing the reason(s) for the request. It is up to your instructor to determine whether or not you will be permitted to receive a deferred grade. If, for any reason, the course work for the deferred grade is not complete by the assigned time, a grade of "F" will be automatically entered on your transcript.

Attendance

This course will be conducted entirely online. There will be no set class meeting times, but you will be required to complete weekly assignments with specific due dates. Many of the assignments are open for multiple days, so it is your responsibility to complete the work early if you plan to travel or participate in national holidays, religious observances or University approved activities.

If you need to request an exception due to a personal or medical emergency, contact the instructor directly as soon as you are able. Such requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.


Disclaimer

Please note that the specifics of this Course Syllabus can be changed at any time, and you will be responsible for abiding by any such changes. All changes will be communicated with you via e-mail, course announcement and/or course discussion forum.